Hospital tests

9) Why measure lung volumes?

Whole body plethysmography

Whole body plethysmography

Whole Body Plethysmography:

  • This test involves being enclosed inside a glass chamber, where the volumes and pressure of the chamber are known.
  • Starting with normal breathing through a mouthpiece, the breathing rate is increased to a pant of more than 1 breath a second.
  • While panting continues, a shutter closes the mouthpiece for a few seconds.
  • This test measures the total amount of air in the thoracic area (rib cage) This being made up mostly of the lungs.

If you would like to see a video of what this test involves, visit the Association for Respiratory Technology and Physiology website.